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Fireweed - Oregon Desert Trail Journal - 2016

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Mary "Fireweed" Kwart
City: Ashland
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 29, 2016
Direction: Eastbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Oct 25th, 2016
Start: OC 185
End: Lake Owyhee State Park
Daily Distance: 17.5
Trip Distance: 738.3

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 247
Journal Visits: 5,594
Guestbook Views: 37
Guestbook Entrys: 6

Oregon Desert Trail Map

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Painted Cyn Obstruction

Last ODT Miles

After a dry night, rain started falling just before I started packing in the morning. The rain wasn't very heavy and wind dried the drops quickly. I read Shane Von Schlemp's account of a difficult exit from Painted Canyon and was not looking forward to that, but, once again, animal trails saved the day. I followed a good trail on the west side of the drainage and it kept me high enough to avoid the small pour offs and rock escarpments lining the canyon. At OC190 at a road end I took a short break and decided to plot a course along roads paralleling the trail to Lake Owyhee State Park. It was noon and I still had quite a few miles to cover to make it to trail's end and (hopefully) my waiting ride. I made 3 waypoints on the GPS and used the road atlas map to show me where, supposedly, roads were. The detour started uneventfully and straightforward, but the so-called "roads" on the map were just cow trails and virtually cross country. There was a full trough about 1 mile east of OC 190. I "herded" cows along cow paths for awhile. Then the road manifested itself and I could hoof it (no pun intended). I was glad I was hiking on the road above the Birch Creek drainage because there was a massive fire scar from a burn this summer. Everything was nuked. If I would have been in the bottom of the drainage, I'd be covered in ash. As I was descending into the road at the end of the trail, I saw swaths of pink across and in the bottom of the drainage. It looked like colorful bands of desert rock, but then I noticed all the vegetation was also pink. Fire retardant! The rain hadn't washed it away. Fire retardant is the consistency of snot when it's wet--glad I wasn't down there. Also--fire retardant isn't supposed to be dropped directly into creeks, but I guess there was no one to monitor the situation. I saw my truck parked down at the bottom of the drainage--my ride had made it. I was greeted by friends Preston and Eric and had a swig of champagne. We drove out to Homedale and had Chinese food, then back to cabins at Rome. I drove home to Ashland the next day.

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First Leg Of Oregon Desert Trail

Fireweed

 

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